Thursday, September 11, 2008

Those Watchmen Gaming Modules

Timothy Callahan has published a very important look at the gaming modules for Watchmen, which (while not today considered canonical) remain the only expansion of the Watchmen universe.

It's important stuff, and just the kind of writing that makes you glad that there's a record of this stuff for future generations.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Coverage of Mutant Cinema

I just want to give a shout out to some of the coverage of Sequart's Mutant Cinema: The X-Men Trilogy from Comics to Screen.

The book's writer, Tom McLean, wrote up something for his blog over at Variety, entitled "Bags and Boards." covered the release. As did the blog "Coke and Comics." So did Comic Geek Speak, over at

If you note other sites that have done so, please note them in the comments to this thread.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Elliot S! Maggin's Superman

Timothy Callahan has a great review of Elliot S! Maggin's Superman output over at Comic Book Resources.

Maggin was central to the development of the modern Superman, infusing the character with a new sense of morality and making him confront real-life issues in a way that's still germaine today. In many ways, Superman stories still haven't quite caught up with the best of his work.

Maggin also brought intelligence to Superman in a way that few writers have. His stories relied on many of the same cliches, like super-hero fight scenes and some convenient plot devices. But Superman arguably became more of a three-dimensional character in Maggin's stories than he had ever been before.

Take a few moments to read Tim's essay. It's certainly worth revisiting Elliot S! Maggin.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Teenagers from the Future Now Available!

Teenagers from the Future: Essays on the Legion of Super-Heroes, in which I've got a rather long essay, is now available from Sequart Research & Literacy Organization.
The book, edited by Timothy Callahan (Grant Morrison: The Early Years), sports a foreword by Matt Fraction and an afterword by Barry Lyga. The collection includes the following essays:
"The Perfect Storm: The Death and Resurrection of Lightning Lad," by Richard Bensam
"Liberating the Future: Women in the Early Legion," by John G. Hemry
"The Silver Age Legion: Adventure into the Classics," by Christopher Barbee
"The (Often Arbitrary) Rules of the Legion," by Chris Sims
"Shooter's Marvelesque," by Jeff Barbanell
"The Legion's Super-Science," by James Kakalios
"Bridging the Past and the Present with the Future: The Early Legion and the JLA," by Scipio Garling
"Decades Ahead of Us to Get it Right: Architecture and Utopia," by Sara K. Ellis
"Those Legionnaires Should Just Grow Up!" by Greg Gildersleeve
"Thomas, Altman, Levitz and the 30th Century," by Timothy Callahan
"The Amethyst Connection," by Lanny Rose
"Revisionism, Radical Experimentation, and Dystopia in Giffen's Legion," by Julian Darius (that's me)
"Pulling Back the Curtain: Gender Identity and Homosexuality in the Legion," by Alan Williams
"Diversity and Evolution in the Reboot Legion," by Matthew Elmslie
"Fashion from the Future, or 'I Swear, Computo Forced Me to Wear This!" by Martin A. Perez
"Generational Theory and the Waid Threeboot," by Matthew Elmslie
"A Universe in Adolescence," by Paul Lytle
"The Racial Politics of the Legion of Super-Heroes," by Jae Bryson
This essay collection, from fans and scholars alike, is as diverse as Legion history. No Legion fan or comics scholar should go without this critical celebration of the Legion.
Legal Disclaimer: the Legion of Super-Heroes and related characters are trademarks of DC Comics. This book is not endorsed or authorized by DC Comics.
About the Publisher: Sequart Research & Literacy Organization is a non-profit devoted to the study and promotion of comic books as a legitimate art. This is the organization's third book, following Timothy Callahan's Grant Morrison: The Early Years (solicited in July's Previews) and Tom McLean's Mutant Cinema: The X-Men Trilogy from Comics to Screen.
The book is available through retailers such as

My Batman Begins Book

I've just completed a draft of a book for Sequart Research & Literacy Organization.

In 2005, I authored Batman Begins and the Comics, the first book published by Sequart. I managed to write it between the movie's theatrical release and its DVD release, getting it out there before the DVD hit stores.

It sold okay for a first effort, and we started working on our next books, including another from me, Tim Callahan's Grant Morrison: The Early Years, and Tom McLean's Mutant Cinema: The X-Men Trilogy from Comics to Screen. Everything took way longer than expected, going through several drafts. During that time, I started and stopped several books. Along the way, Sequart became a non-profit and got a new logo. The spectacular Kevin Colden stepped in to do all our covers. We've learned a lot about making books. The new, spiffy book line now has three books available, and the first one is coming to comic book stores in about a month.

But there was that old, embarrassing Batman Begins and the Comics out there... with our old name and logo... with that crappy photo cover... with our old, cramped interior formatting and no images... and with typos because we rushed it to press. Sitting next to our new books, it just looked stupid.

Well, I've now finally completed a full revision, with expanded contents, interior illustrations, and our nice new formatting. It was a lot more work than I expected, though the original version was in a lot better shape than I had worried.

It's also got a new, tentative title: Improving the Foundations: Batman Begins from Comics to Screen.

I formally submitted it to Sequart today.

There's still a lot of work to go. The editing process can take months and feel endless, and we're short of good editors right now. The cover's not completed. So we have no idea when it will be out.

But it feels good to finish a book, even if it's only a new draft of an old one. I think that it's a good book. I'm proud of it, and I'm proud that our organization's very first book is going to take its place along our nice new ones. It's been a long road, but a rewarding one.

Impoved foundations indeed.